I want to share something that I learned a while ago that has meant a lot to me since then.
is a phrase in my Patriarchal Blessing that has meant a lot to me over the years, since
it applied so amazingly to my life in a way that couldn't have been seen
when I got the blessing. In talking with my siblings over the weekend
of my father's funeral, I found out that one of my brothers has the
exact same phrase in his blessing - given by the same Patriarch. That phrasing might have been unique to us, but it might be a stock phrase
he used in lots of blessings.
What hit me when I heard my
brother mention the phrase relative to his life (after the initial
surprise wore off), and when he talked about how important it is now in
his unique situation, is that I don't care if it is unique to us or part
of thousands of other blessings. It doesn't lessen what it has meant
to me in the past either way, and it would be stupid of me to throw away
real meaning and power simply because it might not be unique wording.
The "revelation" (understanding) I have received from contemplating that wording
has been special - far more special than the wording itself.
don't believe the heavens part and the Patriarch always speaks,
comprehensively, exact words dictated by the Holy Ghost. I do believe,
however, having had some really good discussions with Patriarchs whom I
respect and admire, that they often get impressions of things they
then put into whatever words make sense to them - exactly as has happened to
me occasionally when I'm giving Priesthood blessings. Sometimes those impressions
are somewhat ambiguous, but sometimes they are so clear and different
that I have been surprised to hear what I'm saying. Thus, I see a Patriarchal Blessing as the best approximation of revelation possible given the
avenue / conduit / speaker involved.
It's a lot like I see
scripture - not infallible, often wrong and sometimes filtered almost
completely through personal prisms that hide nearly all of the pure
message, but meaningful and inspired to various degrees.